When the Kenan-Flagler Business School put together a crisis scenario for its business students, these pretend executives faced a roomful of reporters peppering them with questions. The reporters were undergraduates in a class taught by Chris Roush, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
That kind of innovation and his commitment to undergraduates earned Roush the title of 2010 North Carolina Professor of the Year. The award will be presented to Roush Nov. 18 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
Roush is the Walter E. Hussman Sr. Distinguished Scholar in business journalism and the founding director of the Carolina Business News Initiative. Last year, he was honored with the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Teacher of the Year award.
But in class, he’s known less for his honors and more for his serious approach to training future business reporters and his not-so-serious approach to life. He once taught a class wearing a Hog Head Hat after losing a bet when his beloved Auburn Tigers fell to the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Eleven of Roush’s students work at Bloomberg News. Others are at The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the Financial Times. One helped open a Reuters bureau in Charlotte.
“Behind his jocular demeanor is a man who cares deeply about journalism and about students,” said Adam Linker, a former student who now writes for N.C. Policy Watch. “He still believes, in a world jaded about journalism, that good reporting can change the world. And after taking a few classes with Roush, I believe it, too.”